NHSCA Junior Nats: Day 1 Recap, NE Edition

By SHANNON HEATON
Northeast Florida Matmen
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA — Just two wrestlers made the trek from the northeast Florida coverage area up to the NHSCA Junior Nationals.

In fact, juniors Michael DeAugustino of Flagler Palm Coast and Brandon Dickman of Creekside were the only two wrestlers in any year from the Northeast area to compete in the annual NHSCA meet, which often serves as a first (or in some cases final) staging point for college offers.

DeAugustino and Dickman are still alive after Friday’s action (all wrestlers that were bracketed this weekend are, as no consolation rounds were staged Friday).

DeAugustino got the further of the two, reaching the round of 16 at 120 pounds. His first match was a quick one, as he decked Virginia’s Caleb Troup in just 23 seconds.

That put DeAugustino into the round of 32 against New Hampshire’s Jac St. Jean, a two-time state placer and champion this year. No matter, as DeAugustino put St. Jean to his back twice in the first period and then racked up four takedowns in the second and third en route to a technical fall in 5:24.

DeAugustino then faced three-time Ohio placewinner Graham Shore in the round of 16. He had the first takedown and led 3-2 after one period, but Shore got back points in the second period and made them stand up in a 7-4 decision.

DeAugustino will have five rounds of wrestlebacks to wait through on Saturday before getting his chance to return to the mats.

Meanwhile, Dickman had few problems with his first match of the day, falling Georgia’s Shawn Cain just 20 seconds into the second period. Likewise, Dickman had the clear advantage in the round of 64 against South Carolina’s Gage Lanier, shutting him down with a flurry of attacks, earning a 15-0 technical fall just five seconds into the second period.

Dickman had a tight match in the round of 32 against three-time Kansas placer and 2017 state champion Nick Jouret, however. The wrestlers traded escapes through regulation, but it would be Jouret that would find a takedown in sudden victory, however, with a 3-2 decision.

Dickman’s wait to get back on the mat won’t be quite as long as DeAugustino’s, as he’ll have just three rounds of wrestlebacks to go through.

The Wrestling Nation will have a full recap of Florida statewide wrestling in all four levels later on tonight, along with complete results for the first day.

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St Augustine Record All-Stars Posted

You can find the St Johns County all-star team here.

I have pretty good authority that suggests their WOY will be pretty high up the ladder on the FTU all-star teams, too.

 

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The Season 2016-17: Ed White

ED WHITE

You can see everything I have on the Commanders in 2016-17 here –>  ED WHITE

Win/loss record: Unknown in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Commanders’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: This was a confusing season in which to follow the Commanders. First there was a new coach, then there wasn’t, then the former coach returned late in the preseason. Lots of new faces this year, which we did expect, given how many seniors left the room in May due to graduation. Some of the newcomers struggled, others seemed to take to the sport pretty quickly. There were injuries along the way, one of which took out the Commanders’ top returner from last year, from early January on through season’s end. However, Gateway Conference was the highlight of the year, with two champions crowned. Then only three wrestlers competed at districts, one of whom hadn’t appeared in the lineup since December and another since prior to Gateway. Plus there was a partially-reported home duals event (I knew I needed to be there, but the schedule that day just didn’t allow it). There was one region qualifier, but they didn’t appear at Tallahassee. So it’s hard to tell how things stand going into the summer and fall. Lots of circumstances out there.

2016-17 MVP: As a returning wrestler, junior Justin Stoddard got off to a solid start at 138, 5-0 in December with a tournament win at Optimist. He took a couple of losses to start January, but then added a second tournament victory at Gateway, completing the brother back-to-back started by freshman brother Tyler at 106. Stoddard then went 2-2 at 5 Star and we didn’t see him again. What made him most valuable was that he made the Commanders most visible with his tournament wins, but with three tournament absences (Preudhomme Duals at Fletcher, Commander Duals and then the post-season) as well, Stoddard in a way encapsulated the Ed White season as a whole.

2017-18 captain: I mentioned earlier that a couple of new faces and names seemed to do well with the sport in what may have been their first years out, and certainly their first year on varsity with the Commander team. One of those was Damian Deleston, who got out to a nice start, particularly while he was at 220, which is where he was for most of the season. His performance at Battle of the Border, in particular, was very solid for the Commanders, where he placed second and beat an eventual state qualiifer, losing only to a state qualifier, along the way. He dropped to 195 for 5 Star and had just one match there, and we didn’t see him in the post-season, and with just two wrestlers at 195 for districts, he certainly would have made it out. Hopefully he’ll come back.

Heaton’s Hero: I want to give a shout-out to one of the younger guys who stuck through it all and made appearances throughout the year. Although freshman Marquese Carter did miss out on Optimist, he was with the team from that point forward, mostly taking — from the results I saw — a lot of lumps. But he stayed in the lineup when others were not. He was the only wrestler that had been at Fletcher, Battle of the Border, Gateway, 5 Star and districts. I think that’s a good thing, and I hope he’ll come back out. For his willingness to stay out this year, Marquese Carter is the Heaton’s Hero for Ed White.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Bruce Harting (junior, 106, district 4th, did not compete at regions); Carter (sophomore, 170, 0-2 at districts), Jordan Wilson (sophomore, 285, 0-2 at districts). Also: Tyler Meade (junior, 106, did not compete in post-season), Tyler Stoddard (sophomore, 106, did not compete in post-season), Isabeau Brathwaite (sophomore, 113, did not compete in FHSAA post-season), Jacob East (senior, 126, did not compete in post-season), J. Stoddard (senior, 138, did not compete in post-season), Niguel Hunt (sophomore, 145, did not compete in post-season), Carl Otero (junior, 152, did not compete in post-season), Max Brathwaite (senior, 182, did not compete in post-season), Elijah Lima (junior, 182, did not compete in post-season), Deleston (junior, 195, did not compete in post-season).

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The Season 2016-17: Leon

LEON

You can see everything I have on the Lions in 2016-17 here –>  LEON

Win/loss record: Unknown in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Lions’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: We had a much better handle on what Leon was doing this year — until the Gulf Coast Slam, where the Lions were combined with University Christian (actually, not a bad team you can concoct there). Although Leon struggled in duals prior to the Slam, the Lions were 4-1 after it. Numbers prevented Leon from strong in-season team performances in IBTs, but as the stakes got bigger — and emphasis on star power increased — the Lions rocketed up the charts, finishing in the top 15 teams at state once again this year. However, the two wrestlers supporting that state finish won’t be back for 2017-18 (one due to graduation, one told me directly at states). So next season will involve some rebuilding.

2016-17 MVP: Jonathan Grant got to the top of the state rankings this past year, after taking some early losses at Seminole Wrestling Classic and Capital City, but after a 7-3 start, Grant reeled off 30 in a row in a streak that took him from a slower start than a returning state placer would want to have all the way to the finals, where he got caught up in a Brandon rush to ensure top team honors. His season really turned around after a 4-3 win over Chiles’ Gavin Hoard in mid-January, and after that he was back to his dominant self. He’ll be missed next year.

2017-18 captain: After a slowish start to this season (8-8 at one point), I like the way that Jaquenez Madison rallied during the stretch run, going 13-1 in one segment and 17-5 in the second half of the season. How Madison and the other key returners next year respond to a room without Grant and Segura returning is going to be very telling how the Lions’ season will go, as the room will be theirs to shape now. Madison will need a stronger post-season run in 2017-18, but he’s shown the potential to have it, and might be in line for a state appearance next year.

Heaton’s Hero: I always have softer spots for freshman heavyweights, because they’re usually at a disadvantage in terms of strength and experience compared to older competitors. So I would have leaned toward Hudson Holland anyway, but after a pretty tough start to the season, in which he went 1-9, Holland rallied to finish the second half of the year at .500, and has Leon’s only returning win at the Region 1 tournament for next season. For all of those factors, the Heaton’s Hero for Leon is freshman Hudson Holland.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Madison Melton (sophomore, 132, 0-2 at districts); Chris Crago (senior, 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Ethan Eudy (sophomore, 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Madison (junior, 152, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Mason Judd (senior, 170, 0-2 at districts); Holland (sophomore, 285, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions). Also: Payton Smith (junior, 138, did not compete in post-season); Tony Davis (junior, 160, did not compete in post-season).

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The Lists Are Sent

Times-Union lists have been sent. I don’t know when it will publish just yet. There are a couple of weight classes that could be adjusted, at least it wouldn’t surprise me if they were adjusted. I wish I could have more honorable mentions, but have been told that my list is almost too big as is, in the past.

Teams that were with us in 2013-14 (including Suwannee, as I’ve learned), plus Palatka and Bradford, are in the Times-Union coverage area.

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Moore Wins WOY for Gainesville Sun

Which reminds me I need to slow down temporarily on The Season and get cracking on the FTU version of this. Article can be found here.

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Rodriquez 2nd at Corn Cob Nats

DES MOINES — Not many Florida wrestlers will make the jaunt to central Iowa in mid-March. Usually, it’s the other way around.

But University Christian 8th-grader Matthew Rodriquez doesn’t do what most kids do, because he wants more in terms of results than what most kids get.

A state qualifier in Class 1A at 106 for the Christians this past winter, Rodriquez took second place at the Corn Cob Nationals, held at the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines.

Competing in the 100-pound weight class among 13- and 14-year-olds, Rodriquez was 2-1 in the bracket, with falls over Alpha Dogs’ Corbin Grace (1:30) and Team Valley’s Donavon Hanson (50 seconds).

However, Rodriquez could not overcome Team Valley’s Remington Hanson (presumably related to Donavon), falling in sudden-victory time, 6-4, to finish in the runnerup position.

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